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Kureishi, Hanif


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La Repubblica - Italy | 10/09/2008

Kureishi on European integration

Hanif Kureishi, a British writer and author of "My Beautiful Laundrette", describes the topicality of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's film "Fear Eats the Soul" in relation to European immigration policy. "The concept of immigration is rehashed continuously in today's Europe. And the difficulty, as well as the schizophrenic double bond inherent in this concept is shown marvellously by the film's protagonist Alì. The immigrant must work, but he can develop no sense of belonging. He is never allowed to forget his role as an outsider. If he becomes too integrated he is accused of getting the upper hand or wanting to infiltrate the organic unity of society. If he keeps his distance he lives in a ghetto and disrupts society. Alì cannot be assimilated. ... As a foreigner he is a scapegoat or a monster. He lives in a void. ... But he also reminds those around him of something else. Although they do not want change, they may well need a catalyst. From this point of view Alì represents the future. There will be an increasing number of people like him, and the difficulties will only grow. What kind of society can emerge from elements such as these?"

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